Updated: May 30
For many years I watched Miss World, Miss Universe and the like with such adoration for all these beautiful women who did not even remotely resemble me but I didn't care... at least not consciously. Miss Venezuela always featured in the top and I'd always be rooting for her! She was a little tanned than the Europeans and sounded really exotic... Even then, with her long flowy hair and raw accent, my friends and I looked nothing like her.
Fast forward many years later and I watched the Miss SA pageant a few years back and surprise surprise there was a beautiful girl adorning a large afro! Well this looked a little more real right, more relatable. A little more like it... 2019 comes and there are a few beauties embracing their natural hair parading their way on that stage and we even have Kgothatso on stage. She was different, beautiful and real! I beamed with joy as I started to see beauty which I and my babies could relate to.
Fast forward a few months from that jubilation, that same beauty (which of course in a country full of people that look like her would be expected to be acknowledged as such) graced the international stages and took the crown as Miss Universe. Whaaaat!!!!
Serious! This short hair, simple fade look which had never been equalled to real beauty "ubehle hle" was now being recognised as the most beautiful of all beauties. The fairest of them all.
See, it is society which has told us that only one race had the monopoly on beauty and it was only through mimicking the attributes of this race could one hope to attain this crown of beauty. It is the same media and society that will help to uncover this lie told for centuries and assist many women and little girls from all over the world to reclaim their beauty.
This win is a win for all black girls and women whose standard of beauty has been distorted and it says hang on, you have actually believed a lie. You don't really have an innate preference towards caucasian beauty, it's assimilation which has groomed that preference.
So to end off, I thank Miss SA pageant for making watching this pageant more palatable for me as a mom to black girls. There are many other questions one can ask about its relevance, its use etc. but those are for another blog. I also wish to thank Zozibini for being who you are! You just being you makes you show little girls that they are enough as they are.
We celebrate you African child!
(PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES)